New Research Guide on the UNC Confederate Monument (Silent Sam)

A Guide to Resources About UNC's Confederate Monument
A Guide to Resources About UNC’s Confederate Monumen

The Confederate Monument on the UNC campus, known commonly as Silent Sam, has stood on McCorkle Place for more than 100 years. For at least the past half-century, it has been a source of controversy. In response to continued interest about the origins, purpose, and reactions to Silent Sam, the University Archives has prepared a detailed guide to assist researchers seeking archival materials related to the monument.

The largest section of the guide is the Archival Resources section. In this section, we provide links to hundreds of digitized documents related to the planning, construction, and dedication of the monument. The guide also includes links to related archival and manuscript collections available for use in Wilson Library.

In addition to the list of resources, the website contains a timeline of major events related to Silent Sam, from the first mention of an on-campus monument in 1908 to student protests in 2015.

The necessity and meaning of the Confederate Monument at UNC has been debated at least since 1965. For as long as it remains in its prominent location on campus, it is likely to continue being a source of discussion among students and community members. Our intention in building this website is to help inform these discussions by making it easier than ever to find, read, and reference primary sources from the University Archives.

4 thoughts on “New Research Guide on the UNC Confederate Monument (Silent Sam)”

  1. I agree with this and i think it helps with the education. I as the organizer of the event that our organization held last year in support of the monument is incorrect. To help in educating first you must have the correct information to not stir the pot , as this is why educating in todays world is impossible and people get the wrong impression. It claims in the section from last year when The Actbac Organization came to show support for the monument that a noose was seen. This not the case what so ever and i would like it to be changed.. One of our supports rode his motorcycle to the event and displayed a flag from Graham NC all the way to Chapel hill. To be able to do this he made a shoulder strap that kept the flag flying and not blowing away that wrapped around PVC pipe that held the flag then the other end went around his shoulder. When we got to Chapel hill the only way to remove the strap was to cut it.. Everyone there blew it out of context and he took it off.. There was no intention of bring the so called noose as a display. Please to not keep stirring the pot will you retract your statement that says a noose was spotted

  2. In a time when there is a quest for interpretative markers to be placed to spoon feed a version of history on a monument I commend you taking an educational approach to address this situation. An approach where one is lead to the documents and can research, think, and constructively come up with their own thoughts.

    A few comments.
    Timeline: 1. Confederate, Confederacy, etc in this context are proper nouns and therefore should be a capital C. This quote reads “We DEMAND the removal of the racist Confederate monument Silent Sam and ALL confederate monuments on campuses in the UNC-System.” This should have a either a capital C for the Confederate monuments or should read “confederate [sic] monuments.” 2. This statement “Many of the group members carried or displayed Confederate battle flags and one was photographed with a noose” for a guide does not need a noose reference espceically when the hecking and cursing by opposing protestors against H.K. Edgerton is not even mentioned — considering it was racial and hatred slurs against a black man who is a descendant and member of the SCV (and past NAACP Asheville president). If one is mentioned then the rest should be or none should be.

    Other reading:
    1. I am sure that the university has connections at least on campus for or I recommend a link or a reference to these or other newspaper sources that are either available on campus or for off campus visitors to search on their own. Maybe a list of terms that will help provide “hits” related to the monument its history.

    Ernest E. Blevins, MFA Historic Preservation

  3. I was in attendance at the “Save Silent Sam” rally with Mr. Gary Williamson. As an advisor of “ACTBAC NC”, I would like thank the staff and law enforcement officials of UNC-Chapel Hill for allowing to defend and honor our ancestors who fought for freedom against tyranny.

    On the contrary, the treatment that we received from the students was absolutely horrifying. Mr. H.K. Edgerton stated in his open letter, pertaining to the rally held on campus last year, that the has never experienced such hatred, ignorance, and vulgarity in all his years of public speaking. Mr. Edgerton was, of course, referring to the students who were counter-protesting our presence.

    When I questioned a student on his hatred towards the Confederacy, his response was as follows: ” I don’t know, I don’t care, go home!” Out of the ten students I questioned, I never received a coherent response from any of them.

    As a Constitutionalist, I am deeply concerned with the situation that we witnessed on campus. For a group of people that preach “tolerance” and “coexistence”, it appeared if they were practicing “anarchy” and “forced compliance.” These students really need to listen to what Mr. Charlton Heston once said.

    “Political correctness is tyranny with manners.”

  4. P.S.

    I am sorry for the grammatical errors in my comment. The “auto correct” function is an aggravation. If they can be corrected, I would love to do so. I am a perfectionist and it eats my nerves.

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